Driving to Bouillon

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Embrace the great outdoors and discover what makes Bouillon so special.

Located next to the rich greenery of the Ardennes, Bouillon is the perfect place for all outdoor lovers. Walking through the luscious green forests during the day, then relaxing with a local beer at one of the vibrant bars at night. This is the place to come if you want to leave feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

What to see in Bouillon

Bouillon Castle
 A must-visit is the ancient castle nestled in the Ardennes.
A must-visit is the ancient castle nestled in the Ardennes.

The Ardennes is understandably one of the biggest draws to visiting Bouillon, being only a 40-minute drive from the centre town. However, it’s not just the forest-like wonderland that makes this area of Belgium so famous. A strong medieval history is present in Bouillon, which you can immerse yourself within when you visit Bouillon Castle.

The history of this castle goes back over a thousand years, although first mentioned in 988 many believe that the castle was here long before this. In the 11th century it was inherited by Godfrey of Bouillon, a Frankish knight and leader of the first crusade. After his inheritance, it was passed around various members of nobility before its ruins were opened to the public.

If you visit from March to October, daytime visitors will be treated to an incredible display from the swooping birds of prey. However, for a more spooky atmosphere you can visit in the evening for a torchlit tour.

The crumbling grey rocks of the castle stand out beautifully against the jade hills and fields that surround it as well as the tranquil Semois River, a lovely place to enjoy a picnic during the winter months.

Musée Ducal

As Godfrey of Bouillon is so integral to the history of Bouillon, his life is covered extensively in Musée Ducal located just below the castle. The museum is spread out between two historic mansions, and is a must-visit if you want to learn more about the town and its influential residents. It’s not just Godfrey of Bouillon that takes up the exhibition space though, you can also see Islamic and Byzantine artefacts alongside maps from the 1600s.

 Godfrey of Bouillon is an inspirational figure in the town.
Godfrey of Bouillon is an inspirational figure in the town.

Discovering the history of a city is the best way to really get to know it. With such detail in their collections, you can get an intricate look into what life would have been like back then for the people of Bouillon.

The Semois Valley

The Semois river is the beating heart of the Ardennes, and is one of the most popular attractions of Bouillon. Famous for the ethereal blue mist that rises from the water at dawn, it is an iconic feature of the town.

Head to the river to relax on the banks on a warm afternoon, or following it on a brisk stroll. If you are more of an adventurer at heart, kayak through the water for some incredible holiday memories.

 A peaceful afternoon walking the Semois Valley is a perfect day.
A peaceful afternoon walking the Semois Valley is a perfect day.

Where to eat in Bouillon

Les Rempart

This is a small, friendly restaurant favoured by the locals. Hearty Belgian dishes can be found on the menu, perfect if you have spent your day exploring the great outdoors. Many places in Bouillon close on Monday night, but Les Rempart stays open, so you won’t go hungry.

Where to drink in Bouillon

L’Estaminet

Bright, cheerful and busy with locals, if you are looking for a bar away from the tourist traps, then this is the one for you. There is a small selection of local beers for you to try, giving you a proper Bouillon night out.

Where to stay in Bouillon

Ile de Faigneul

As you will be staying in the vast beauty of the Ardennes, it would be a shame not to fully embrace the great outdoors and go camping. Ile de Faigneul is only 25 minutes from the centre of the town, where you will be surrounded by rolling hills, ancient trees and the tranquil fresh air that has made this area so desirable.

Weather in Bouillon

Bouillon’s weather varies drastically from summer to winter. In the sunny months, it can rise above 20°C, but in the winter, it can go below freezing. It can be quite rainy all year round, so no matter when you go make sure you bring your best waterproofs.

Getting there and around:

It’s only three and a half hours from the Calais terminal to the beauty of Bouillon. You take the A16 to the A25, E42 and E411. Then just continue on the N89 to Bouillon.

You will find lots of free parking in the town, so no need to worry about having to park miles away from where you need to be.